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Tampa FL Products Liability Law Blog

McDonald's recalls Happy Meal toys due to personal injury hazard

While many Florida parents are careful when considering which toys to buy for their children, the toys distributed with children's meals at fast food franchises are seldom inspected for potential dangers. However, considering that these gifts are giveaways, they are not likely to be of the highest quality. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently warned parents about the personal injury hazard posed by toys that were enclosed in Happy Meals from McDonald's.

Hello Kitty figurines were placed in Happy Meals during recent weeks. The figurine can be opened to reveal a lollipop in the shape of a heart, along with a removable whistle. Two incidents of children coughing up bits of the whistles have been reported, with one child requiring medical attention. It is believed that the children sucked small parts out of the whistles when attempting to make noise.

Toxic content of organic almonds may cause personal injury

Florida consumers may be interested to learn that organic raw almonds could pose a health risk. Almonds are part of the same family as apricot and peach pits and contain hydrogen cyanide. A range of almonds products was recently recalled by Whole Foods after the almonds were found to contain excessive levels of hydrogen cyanide that may cause severe personal injury or even death.

Hydrogen cyanide occurs naturally in almonds and, by crushing or chewing an almond, the hydrogen cyanide is transformed into prussic acid that could be toxic. Eating raw organic almonds could cause almost immediate symptoms, such as weakness, accelerated heart rate and breathing, along with headache, nausea and dizziness. When excessive levels of hydrogen cyanide are ingested, the health effects may be more serious and could include reduced heart rate and low blood pressure, as well as convulsions and unconsciousness, which could lead to respiratory failure, potentially resulting in death.

Metals used in hip replacements caused severe personal injury

Hip replacement patients in Florida may be interested to learn that the manufacturers of a hip replacement implant that was found to be defective have agreed to a settlement. The company's implant reportedly caused severe personal injury to many patients across the United States. The federal court settlement that could exceed $1.4 billion was recently announced in a U.S. District Court in another state.

According to reports, the product defect was caused by two different types of metal that were used to make the implant. It was found that the metals wear down over time, and corrosion and oxidation is caused by the friction between the dissimilar types of metals. The rust that formed led to severe personal injury in the form of extensive tissue damage in some patients.

A defective product caused a personal injury. What are my rights?

Many Florida consumers are adversely affected by defective products annually. Many cases involve products that fail to meet advertised standards. However, in some cases, a product defect causes personal injury to a consumer. In those situations, there may be the possibility of a viable claim against the manufacturer or the supply chain.

Product defects are classified into different categories, including design, manufacture, and instruction or warning defects. A design defect is often cited when a manufacturer specifies the use of a part that fails under normal use. Normal use occurs when the product is used in the way in which the manufacturer intended.

Personal injury may result from the use of contaminated cosmetics

Manufacturing companies and distributors are responsible for providing only products containing safe ingredients to the consumer market. While this is the standard set by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it has no right to recall cosmetic products containing dangerous ingredients that could cause personal injury. Florida consumers may be alarmed by a report stating that cosmetic products are often identified as dangerous, and then they are simply removed from retailers' shelves without advising consumers who have already purchased the products.

An example of such an occurrence is a cosmetic product that is produced by Kutol Products Co. The company recently removed more than 4,000 units of moisturizing lotions from stores nationwide. This action followed the discovery that the moisturizers were contaminated with a Pseudomonas bacteria. This can cause pneumonia, inflammation and blood infections. It could even result in sepsis, which could be fatal.

Undeclared food allergens may cause severe personal injury

Florida residents with food allergies may not realize how their well-being is threatened on a daily basis. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently reported that most recalls of consumable products result from allergens that are not mentioned on product labels and could cause personal injury. Most affected are those with milk, wheat, soy and nut allergies.

Products found with insufficient allergen information often include candy containing undeclared milk in the form of dark chocolate. The FDA reported that many labels of such candy bars were marked dairy-free or vegan. In many cases, the FDA found that products were packed in wrappers of other similar products showing incorrect ingredient information. Such errors could have detrimental consequences for consumers with acute allergies.

Millions of recalled cars pose threat of catastrophic injuries

The record number of auto recalls this year has led to millions of recalled vehicles remaining in use on the roads. While these vehicles pose threats of catastrophic injuries, Florida motorists may suffer from what has come to be known as recall fatigue. Some are of the opinion that recall notices fail to emphasize the severity of the potential dangers posed by the defects, leaving many consumers underestimating the threat. A recall consultant says that the 544 recalls so far this year equal almost two recalls per day.

Another concerning fact is that large numbers of recalled vehicles remain available through the used car market. Carfax reported that approximately 3.5 million listings in 2013 were recalled vehicles. It is vital for consumers to update their knowledge of recalls before they go shopping for a used car as unsuspecting buyers may find themselves the owners of vehicles that may cause catastrophic injuries or even death.

Recalled supplements posing personal injury threat still for sale

Florida consumers who use supplements as part of a healthy lifestyle may want to take note of the alarming results of a study that was recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. From 2009 through 2012, 274 supplements were recalled because they contained ingredients that may cause severe personal injury. The researchers who initiated the study bought 27 of these products that were still available in online stores and on the websites of manufacturers.

While prescription drugs need the approval of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, supplements are not subjected to FDA approval. However, the labels on supplements have to list all ingredients and may not be tainted or misrepresented. This apparently fails to deter some supplement manufacturers from adding unapproved drugs that are not specified on the label in order to escalate profit levels. The 27 supplements that the researchers purchased promised weight loss, improved sexual ability, big muscles and more.

Toys R Us -- personal injury threat posed by plastic toast slices

Most parents in Florida do whatever is necessary to protect their children from harm. However, it seems impossible to anticipate the personal injury threats posed by many toys and other children's products. Toys R Us recently announced the recall of a product in their "Just Like Home" range. What seems to be a toy that would provide a lot of fun for little kids playing house was determined to be a personal injury threat.

The recalled product consists of a toy toaster with an opening for inserting the imitation toast or bagel slices, with a handle to slide the toast down. The toaster is blue and the slider, along with and adjustment knob on the front, is orange. Included in the set are two toast and two bagel slices which were found to be dangerous, although no injuries have been reported yet.

Leaking intravenous solutions pose personal injury threat

Manufacturers of medicinal products have an enormous responsibility to maintain the safety standards prescribed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Hospira, the manufacturers of a range of LifeCare products, recently announced a recall of 11 lots of intravenous solutions after it was detected that one package was punctured, causing a leak of the contents. The recall, of which the FDA is aware, was reported to be voluntary. The range of products that may pose a personal injury threat was distributed in Florida and the rest of the United States.

The intravenous solutions were packed in flexible containers, protected by a plastic over wrap that could expose the products to being punctured by sharp objects. Upon investigation, it was found that the puncture occurred on a conveyor system, and action to eliminate the problem has been taken. Hospira explained that the sterility of the contents of a punctured, leaking container could be compromised by possible contamination. A further danger exists when the contents of a punctured container are administered to a patient as the dosing may be inconsistent, causing a delay in treatment.

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